E-resource Trials

New app lets users check out Library materials with their phones

The University of Chicago Library has launched a new mobile app, Checkout UChicago, that lets users check out Library materials using their phones or tablets.

Checkout UChicago allows students, faculty members, staff, and others with borrowing privileges at the University of Chicago Library to scan an item’s barcode with their phone and instantly check it out to their Library account.

Checkout UChicago app on a phone in the bookstacks

A phone displaying the Checkout UChicago start screen

Students with lockers and faculty members with studies in Regenstein will be able to check out materials and store them without having to bring them to Circulation.

Users who want to leave the Library with their items can use the self-service Deactivation Station at the Circulation desk in Regenstein. At other campus libraries, users can bring items to Circulation staff for deactivation.

Download the app

Checkout UChicago is available for download for both iOS and Android devices.

Gift for new users

The first 100 UChicago students and faculty members to check out a book with this app will receive a $3 credit to their UChicago Card in Maroon Dollars.  They will receive an email notifying them when the credit has been applied.

Library staff, including student staff, are not eligible for this promotion.

New Human Genome Resources site now available

The new Human Genome Resources site offers access to visualization and analysis tools available for the human genome, as well as other relevant tools like BLAST, the NCBI remapping service and databases that provide human molecular data. The resources are sorted into categories like Find, View, Download and Learn, making it easier to find what you need.

With the new site, you can:

In addition, the portal includes an extensive listing of learning resources that may help you have a better understanding of the wealth of information associated with the human genome.

American Chemical Society journals optimized for smartphones and tablets

acs2go-70x70ACS2Go is ACS Publications’ new mobile platform that offers readers enhanced features and an improved reading experience optimized for tablets and smartphones. ACS2Go can also be easily paired with our University of Chicago Library subscriptions to access full text articles both on and off campus.

To pair your device and use ACS2Go, simple visit pubs.acs.org on your smartphone while authenticated on the campus wireless network (e.g., uchicago or uchicago-secure). The pairing is good for up to 4 months, allowing you to read and download content while off campus.  The pairing is refreshed each time you access ACS2Go while on the campus wireless network.  Alternatively, you can also get an access code from a campus computer by visiting pubs.acs.org/action/mobileDevicePairingLogin and logging in with your ACS ID. The access code authentication also expires after the same 4 month period.

With ACS2Go you will be able to:

  • Browse journals and read full text articles
  • Download articles to your mobile device for offline reading
  • Select journals and articles as favorites for quick reference from your home screen
  • Search journals by keyword, author or title
  • View and search references and related links
  • Share articles and links via email

To provide feedback or for technical assistance, please visit help.acs.org or contact ACS Publications at support@services.acs.org.

Beta test the new Library Catalog

The Library strongly encourages members of the University of Chicago community to participate in a beta test of the new Library Catalog at catalog.lib.uchicago.edu. The end of vendor support for the current Library Catalog and Lens, both slated for this summer, requires the implementation of a new catalog.

New Catalog Beta homepage

The new Library Catalog homepage

The design goals for the new Library Catalog were drawn from an extensive series of interviews with UChicago faculty and students, conducted to ensure that the new tool will meet the needs of researchers. The new Catalog design retains all of the functionality that patrons identified as valuable in the existing systems and adds new features requested during interviews.

Notable features in the beta release

The new UChicago Library Catalog features a simple, clean visual design and a variety of search options:

  • searches can be limited by format, language, and other criteria;
  • “Begins With” browsing allows quick retrieval of known titles or authors;
  • materials can be viewed in call number order;
  • “power searching” options such as Boolean operators and nested search terms allow for precise recall of catalog records.

New features in this Catalog requested by users include display of the current availability of items on the search results page, as well as easier access to ebooks and ejournals.

Still in development

This beta version of the Catalog is not complete.  Features still under development include

  • My Account features, such as emailing, saving, and exporting records;
  • optimization of the Catalog for use on mobile devices;
  • inclusion of expanded Library content, such as the Library website, archival finding aids, and digital collections.

This functionality will be added over the coming months. The beta period will also give the Library the opportunity to identify and fix data and display problems before the Catalog goes into full production later this year.

Exporting user data

Unfortunately, lists created by users of the current Catalog and MyDiscoveries records saved by users of Lens cannot be migrated to the new Library Catalog.  The Library will soon post instructions on how users can export these records, and users will have at least until the end of June to do so.

Share your comments

To begin beta testing the new Catalog, simply go to catalog.lib.uchicago.edu and begin a search, or click the Help button on any Catalog page for more information.  Please share your comments with us on the feedback form, also available from the Catalog header. We are particularly interested in your feedback regarding visual design and layout, organization of results and records, ease and effectiveness of search construction, and the quality and ranking of results.

The new University of Chicago Library Catalog is a customized version of the VuFind software platform, an open-source search tool originally developed at Villanova University. Research libraries and collections currently using VuFind include the University of Michigan Library, the HathiTrust, and the National Libraries of Australia, Finland, and Ireland.

Book a Room pilot for group studies begins Jan. 7

Group study sign for new room booking system.

If you see this sign on the door of a room, you can book it on behalf of your group using the new Book a Room system.

Student groups looking for a place to work together on problem sets or to cram for that daunting midterm exam should find the task a bit easier this quarter, thanks to the Library’s new Book a Room system. The online system, currently in a pilot phase, allows UChicago students, faculty, and staff to view available group studies and to book a room in advance, on behalf of two or more users.

By introducing a room booking system, the Library hopes to make it easier for groups to find spaces to study and work together collaboratively, in keeping with its commitment to creating and sustaining an environment supportive of scholarship. While the Library has long offered spaces designated for collaborative work, students have reported difficulty in knowing when and where they can find an available room. The new system will make doing so a much simpler task and will, for the first time, allow groups to book a room in advance.

How it Works

Book a Room allows groups to reserve a room up to 7 days in advance for up to 2 hours per day. Groups may choose from among 16 group studies in Regenstein and 7 group studies in Crerar. In addition, Regenstein’s 5 library classrooms, which are intended primarily for formal instruction, may be booked by groups outside of regular teaching hours (after 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday).

Example of the Book a Room grid displaying available rooms

The Book a Room display. Available timeslots are green; booked timeslots are blue. Group names are listed under “Confirmed Bookings” on the left.

Only current UChicago students, faculty, and staff may book rooms, though other groups are welcome to use rooms on a first come, first served basis as long as the room has not been booked. Groups who have booked a room need to bring a confirmation email as proof of their booking in order to ask another group to vacate a room.

The Book a Room system is available online via any Internet browser and via mobile devices. In addition to booking rooms, users can view information about each room, including seating capacity, amenities, and location, as well as photos of the rooms and maps of their locations. Group names are also displayed, allowing users to find a room their group has already booked.

For more information, see How to Book a Room and the Library’s Policies on Room Use .

A group study in Crerar Library

One of the many group studies bookable by groups using the new Book a Room system.

Pilot Phase

The Library is currently offering Book a Room as a pilot during Winter and Spring Quarters 2013. Library staff will review use of the system and solicit feedback from users to evaluate the service going forward.

To see what rooms are available, visit Book a Room at rooms.lib.uchicago.edu.

BMJ Case Reports trial

BMJ Case Reports logoTry BMJ Case Reports, which “publishes cases in all disciplines so that healthcare professionals, researchers, and others can easily find clinically important information on common and rare conditions. All articles are peer reviewed and copy edited before publication.”

The trial runs until March 31, 2012.  Please send your feedback to Christa Modschiedler, Biomedical Bibliographer.


Natural Standard trial

Natural Standard logoTry Natural Standard, an online resource that provides evidence-based information about complementary and alternative therapies, diets, exercise and nutrition.  Send your feedback to Christa Modschiedler, Biomedical Bibliographer.

Natural Standard is an international research collaboration that aggregates and synthesizes complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) data.  It provides evidence-based, peer-reviewed, decision-support tools and assigns grades that reflect the level of available scientific data for or against the use of each therapy for a specific medical condition.

The trial runs until March 11, 2012.


Text yourself titles and call numbers from Lens

Texting from Lens
You can now send title and call number information directly to your mobile phone from Lens and take it with you into the stacks. Here’s how:

  1. Use Lens to search for titles in the collection.
  2. Click on a title to display the full record.
  3. On the right side of the screen, click on “Send as text message”.
  4. If there are multiple copies at different locations, select the one you want to send.
  5. Enter the phone number (no spaces or punctuation) and select the phone’s service provider to send a SMS (Short Message Service) text message containing the call number, title, and location.

This new feature of Lens was developed by Library staff based on feedback from our users.

World Scientific e-book trial

Try World Scientific e-books and send us your feedback.


World Scientific is a publisher of scientific books and journals in various fields including chemistry, computer science, environmental science, history of science, life sciences, materials science, medicine and health, nanotechnology and nanoscience and physics.  The trial runs through the end of July 2011.

Please send feedback using our Ask A Librarian online form at: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/crerar/using/reference/.


Try Articles Plus

The University of Chicago Library is launching a trial of Articles Plus, a research tool that allows simultaneous searching of a broad range of articles, books, and other collections.

The Library is evaluating this product for purchase, and we will be conducting the trial through fall quarter.

What does the Articles Plus search cover?

  • Hundreds of the Library’s article databases, including Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, Science Direct, and more
  • Over 40,000 journals and periodicals
  • The University of Chicago library catalog
  • Digitized collections of documents and images from many organizations

What are some suggested uses for Articles Plus?

  • As a starting point for finding articles on a topic
  • For literature searches in interdisciplinary fields
  • For conducting research outside of your field of expertise

Try out Article Plus and see if it is helpful for your research.  We welcome your feedback on this new resource.

To learn more about Articles Plus, including details of its coverage, visit our information page.

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